Back in 2017, the US Mint celebrated the 225th Anniversary of the US Mint by adding a ‘P’ mint mark to all of the Philadelphia Lincoln Cents for the first and only time. The thing about these ‘P’ cents is that you didn’t have to buy them since they were released in circulation.
2019 will have ‘W’ mint mark Lincoln Cents for the first time, but they won’t be released in circulation like the 2017 Philadelphia cents.
The First West Point Cents
Before the ‘W’ mint mark appeared on any Commemoratives or American Eagle Dollars, West Point actually did mint Lincoln Cents between 1974 and 1986. Like the cents minted in Philadelphia, the West Point cents minted back then also had no mint mark. So, there is no way to distinguish which Lincoln Cents were actually minted in Philadelphia and which were minted in West Point. If anybody out there knows how to distinguish between the two mints during the 1970s and 1980s, please let us know.
Where Can You Find These 2019 West Point Cents
Like I said earlier, the mint won’t be releasing them in circulation. So, don’t expect to find them in change or in your pockets because they are only going to be included in the year’s collector sets.
The 2019 Proof Set will have the Lincoln Cent, Jefferson Nickel, Roosevelt Dime, five America the Beautiful Quarters, Kennedy Half Dollar, and Native American Dollar with the ‘S’ mint mark as they are minted in San Francisco. Included in this set will be a 2019-W Lincoln Cent in a separate package. Released on March 1, 2019, this would be the first set to include a West Point Set.
Next would be the 2019 Silver Proof Set. Instead of the West Point Cent included here being minted as a regular proof coin, it will be released as a reverse proof.
Finally, the 2019 Mint Set will include an uncirculated 2019-W Lincoln Cent.
This means we’ll see three different condition 2019-W Lincoln Cents: Uncirculated, Proof, and Reverse Proof.
This Is Not The First A West Point Coin Has Appeared In A Collector Set
Back in 1996, the US Mint decided to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Roosevelt Dime. So, similar to the Mint Set coming out in 2019, the 1996 Mint Set included a 1996-W Roosevelt Dime. As a result, the Mint produced 400,000 more Mint Sets in 1996 than in 1995.
Here’s something that may interest you. I looked at my Red Book to see the value of the 1996 Mint Set. I found that there were 1,457,949 Mint Sets produced in 1996 with a current value of $20. However, in 1997, there were only 950,473 Mint Sets produced, but they only have a value of $5. That one West Point dime made the 1996 Mint Set worth 300% more than 1997.
Could the three 2019 West Point Cents Do The Same As The 1996 Dime?
I bet you the US Mint is hoping so. In hopes of getting more people interested in collecting coins, they have been trying just about anything to do so. Recently, they had done the following:
- In 2018, the first Reverse Proof Set was released.
- In 2017, an Enhanced Uncirculated Set came out
Mint Sets have seen a sharp decline in mintages. The last time more than 1,000,000 Mint Sets were produced was 2005. In 2016, there were under 300,000 minted. The value of Mint Sets between 2010 and 2016, except for 2012, have gone down since being minted. Will the 2019-W Uncirculated Lincoln Cent help the Mint Set?
Proof Sets have seen declines as well. The last time over 1,000,000 were minted was 2011. In 2016, only 575,000 Proof Sets and 356,000 Silver Proof Sets were minted. Though the value of the regular Proof Sets are about the same or slightly above the original issue price, the Silver Proof Sets have not been so lucky. Maybe a Reverse Proof 2019-W Lincoln Cent will get collectors to buy the Silver Proof Set.
Will You Purchase One, Two, Or All Three 2019 Collector Sets?
I myself haven’t been purchasing the regular yearly Mint or Proof Sets, but 2019 may be an exception. I did purchase the 2018 Reverse Proof Set and 2017 Enhanced Uncirculated Set though. I even have the 1996 Mint Set with the 1996-W Roosevelt Dime. I do like reverse proofs which means I’ll have to get the Silver Proof Set for the reverse proof Lincoln Cent. I’ll probably go for all three sets so I can have all of the 2019 West Point cents.
Will you do the same as me and go for all three collector sets? Who knows if West Point will ever mint cents again. After all, it took Philadelphia 225 years to put a ‘P’ on their cents. So, all three 2019 cents may be worthwhile to include in your collection.
The only problem is the W penny are coming out w blemishes and since it’s considered a gift they won’t replace their poor quality “gift” not happy with the customer service at the mint
Unfortunately, you’re right. My friend and I noticed this last week at our coin club meeting and saw it on a couple others. We all agreed that the mint should have done a better job. This is going to hurt them as well as collectors who were looking forward to it. I am hoping they do better with the reverse proof.